The Meat Sellers’ Association has refused to relocate the cattle market from Kot Kamboh to Shahpur Kanjaran, where the City District Government (CDGL) is building a modern, bigger facility. Under the CDGL plan once the new slaughterhouse becomes functional, the Kot Kamboh cattle market and the abattoir would be closed down.
The Punjab Livestock Department, under the chief minister’s Vision 2020 to provide consumers with hygienic meat and to meet World Trade Organization (WTO) challenges, had approved the new slaughterhouse housing cold chain facilities and hygienic meat markets costing Rs500 million. The decision followed complaints, years of lobbying and litigation by the residents of the neighbourhoods around the old slaughterhouse at Kot Kamboh, Bund Road.
Last month, DCO Sajjad Ahmed Bhutta held a meeting with the Meat Sellers’ Association head
Shaikh Anwar Saeed.
During the meeting, the association voiced concern against the CDGL’s decision to ban slaughtering, sale and purchase of cattle at Bakkar Mandi, the cattle market at Kot Kamboh. In a “productive meeting”, Saeed said, the CDGL had agreed to their request to continue operating at Kot Kamboh.
He said there was no need for the slaughter house and the cattle market to be shifted, arguing that it had been there for a long time. He said that the cattle dealers had theirreservations about the CDGL plan and it was the Association’s duty to look after them.
Basit Gulzar, a cattle dealer at Bakar Mandi said that Shahpur Kanjran was quite out of the way. He said that the distance would increase the transportation charges, to be borne by the dealers. He said that breeders, who brought the animals from the neighbouring districts, were also opposed to the change of venue.
“Because of the business I bought a house in the area. If the market is shifted to Shahpur Kanjran, I would be in real trouble,” he added.
“Some traders have shifted from Kot Kamboh to Shahpur Kanjran anticipating of the move, but their experience had not been encouraging. Shahpur Kanjran is just a piece of land with no infrastructure. It is impossible for us to shift our businesses,” he said. He said traders who had shifted there had their animals stolen. More than 200 complaints in this regard had been lodged with the police.
The DCO told The Express Tribune that the government had established the Lahore Meat Company
(LMC) to own and operate the new slaughterhouse. LMC managing director Dr Hamid Jalil however pointed out the limited mandate of the company. He said, “A new cattle market and a slaughterhouse is under construction at Shahpur Kanjaran in collaboration with Iran. It will be completed in another
six months, after which the Kot Kamboh slaughterhouse will be shut down. “He said that CDGL had notified the transfer of 89.625 acres of land for a model slaughterhouse. He added, however, that it was not the LMC’s job to persuade or coerce the cattle dealers to shift their businesses.
Residents of Sabzazar Colony who have for years campaigned for the shifting of the slaughterhouse and the cattle market are happy with the government’s decision. They say that they have been facing acute problems including traffic congestions and health issues on account of the cattle market. “The slaughterhouse and the cattle market have been a problem for the residents. Animal waste and
burning of bones have polluted the environment causing skin and lung’s diseases,” said Riasat Ali, a resident of Sabzazar. Haq Nawaz, another resident, recalled that some human rights organisations had started a campaign to shift the cattle market and slaughterhouse away from the residential area in 1998.
Lahore currently has four major slaughterhouses at Shahdara, Baghbanpura, Saddar and Kot Kamboh. About 75 per cent of the meat supplies come from the Kot Kamboh slaughterhouse, where around 7,000 goats or sheep and 500 cows or buffaloes are slaughtered five days a week.
Source: newsroom - meattradenewsdaily.co.uk
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